Drought conditions increase chance of encountering bears

by Mescalero Apache Tribe | June 14, 2022 10:50 am

SANTA FE – Due to drought conditions throughout the state, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is urging residents to be aware of the increased chances of encountering bears and other wildlife.

“The state has experienced less than average precipitation for this time of the year, which means that bears may be in search of other food sources”, said Rick Winslow, bear and cougar biologist with the Department. “Droughts historically have led to a lot of bear conflict, not only at camping and picnic sites, but also in more populated areas.”

“For bears, almost all of their food resources, such as green grasses and forbs — flowering and grass-like plants — are sustained by moisture,” Winslow said. When these food sources are stressed, bears may start moving closer to towns and neighborhoods. Bears that move into populated areas can cause problems and may become habituated to humans. Problem bears that are deemed a threat may be euthanized.

The Department offers the following suggestions if you visit, or live in, bear country:

If you encounter a bear:

If you are experiencing a persistent problem with bears, please contact your regional Game & Fish office[1] or contact your local law enforcement for immediate assistance. Visit the Department’s website to find contact information for local Department offices. For more information about living with bears in New Mexico, please consult Keeping Bears Alive and Yourself Safe.[2]

  1. contact your regional Game & Fish office: https://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/home/contact/location-map/
  2. Keeping Bears Alive and Yourself Safe.: https://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/download/publications/wildlife/Keeping-Bears-Alive-and-You-Safe.pdf

Source URL: https://mescaleroapachetribe.com/16756/drought-conditions-increase-chance-of-encountering-bears/